Ronda Evartt is tired of making signs.
She wishes there was no need to keep pushing for equal rights for women.
But the 37-year-old Fort Worth woman showed up downtown Saturday, joining thousands of others who feel the same way.
“We are going to stand up and stand together no matter what,” said Evartt, who carried a sign that read ‘I’m tired of making signs. Fix this sh** please!”
Saturday was the one-year anniversary of the 2017 Women’s March that drew millions of women to the streets — one day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration.
This year, pink was the color of choice and the marchers were encouraged to take their burgeoning political activism one step farther: To the polls.
“Last year we focused on women’s rights,” Libby Willis, who unsuccessfully ran for the Texas Senate in 2014, told a crowd of thousands at the Tarrant County Courthouse before Saturday’s march. “This year, we are talking about what to do ... with these rights.
“We are going to march. We are going to vote. And we are going to win,” Willis said. “Be bold and mighty forces will come to your aid.”
Then they marched — women, men and children — carrying signs bearing messages such as “Now we run,” “Be nice to girls,” “Voting is my superpower” and “Keep your tiny hands off our human rights.”
As they wove their way through downtown, the crowd chanted phrases such as “Love, not hate, makes America great” and “Show me what Democracy looks like; This is what Democracy looks like.”
Crowd of thousands
Last year, around 8,000 people turned out to march in Fort Worth, many frustrated and still upset that Republican Donald Trump bested Democrat Hillary Clinton in the battle for the White House.
This year, organizers estimated that around 5,000 people attended the march.
Some still shared concerns from last year, but others said they’ve become much more active during the past year.
She became a volunteer deputy registrar so she can help anyone register to vote.
Others have joined political clubs and contacted lawmakers about their concerns.
“The government shut down last night but the people did not shut down,” said Leah Payne, immediate past president of the Tarrant County Democratic Women’s Club that helped organize the local march this year. “And we are here to fight back.”
Finding a voice
Kathleen Stewart, 80, was among those marching this year, as she did last year.
She showed up dressed as the Statue of Liberty and said during the past year, she has become more politically active — calling and writing members of Congress to let them know where she stands on certain issues and joining a local Democratic woman’s club.
“I think the Democrats in this county have been sleeping, waiting to be awakened,” Stewart said. “I might not have an impact, but I’m learning how to go in and say what I want to say.”
Karin Bradford also seems to have found her voice during the past year.
Carrying a sign that stated “Grab em by the midterms” on one side and “I’ve seen better cabinets at Ikea” on the other, Bradford said she’s been speaking up more lately. She’s worried about the future of women’s health care, especially reproductive health, and equal pay.
“We now have a misogynistic, racist pig in office and I want him out,” said Bradford, a 51-year-old Arlington wife and mother. “I feel he’s not interested in representing me because I’m an intelligent, free-thinking woman.
“It’s hard to be a vocal liberal Democrat in Fort Worth, Texas, but now I don’t give a damn.”
‘We need change’
Tony Morales, a 79-year-old retired U.S. Air Force veteran, carried a large United States flag as he walked in part of the march.
“I think it’s important more people get involved,” the Fort Worth man said. “Personally, I don’t like the way we are going with this administration.”
Neither does Margaret Crawford, who picked a spot several blocks away to set up a lawn chair and watch the march.
As people passed by, she banged on an old Indian drum to show her support.
“This has a bigger voice than mine,” the 67-year-old Fort Worth woman said.
Before the march, Kennedale City Councilwoman Sandra Lee called on North Texans to stay involved politically and do what they can to make this country better.
“We need to make sure the good rises and the bad is taken down,” she said. “We need change. We need it quickly.
“We will fight to the end,” Lee said. “Bring it on.”